Critical Mass

Calling All Under-30 Reviewers


To encourage and cultivate young reviewers and critics under the age of thirty, the Virginia Quarterly Review is holding a “Young Reviewers Contest” in September 2008.

The prize for the winning entry is $1,000, publication in VQR’s Winter 2009 issue, and a publishing contract for three additional reviews worth up to $3,000. Finalists (up to five) will receive a complimentary one-year student or associate membership in the National Book Critics Circle , a one-year subscription to VQR, and may also be offered paid publication in VQR (in print or online).

Initial screening of entries will be by the staff of VQR. The final judges will be:
  • National Book Critics Circle board member Rebecca Skloot, assistant professor in the creative writing MFA program at the University of Memphis.
  • National Book Critics Circle board member Oscar Villalon, book editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Ted Genoways, editor of VQR.

General Guidelines:
  • Entrants must be under the age of thirty as of the closing date of the contest, September 30, 2008.
  • Entries (one per person) should be at least 2,000 and no more than 3,500 words and should be an in-depth review of a book of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction published in the US after January 1, 2008.
  • There is no entry fee for the contest.
  • Entries will be accepted online beginning September 1 through September 30, 2008. Entries will not be accepted by mail or email.
  • Entries must be unpublished, original work. Work previously published online is not eligible.
  • All entries will be read blind.
  • Entrants agree that they will not review a book that presents a real or perceived conflict-of-interest, i.e., books by family,  friends, colleagues, students, or teachers.
  • Contest results will be announced on December 1, 2008. VQR reserves the right to not award the prize if the judges decide that none of the entries is judged of sufficient quality.

Details on the VQR website or 434-924-3124.